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My name is Rebecca Silva and I am currently a senior at the University of New Hampshire majoring in Nursing. I live in Reading, Massachusetts with my mom, dad and two sisters, Leah and Jess. I graduated from Reading Memorial High School in 2008, and plan to graduate from UNH in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

I was a competitive gymnast for thirteen years, and although I would love to have continued in college, I chose to focus on nursing. Growing up as a gymnast taught me the importance of determination, teamwork, leadership and developing short and long-term goals. Although I am no longer a gymnast, I now apply these positive attributes to my everyday life.

I have always enjoyed caring for people and knew I wanted to be involved in something that would help others. It wasn’t until I shadowed a nurse at The Massachusetts General Hospital that I knew nursing is what I want to do. In the summer of 2009 I was able to work in a clinical setting for the first time as an Operations Associate (OA) at Mass General. I worked on the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and was able to see how nurses make a physical and emotional difference in patients’ lives. For the past two summers (2010 & 2011) I have worked as a patient care associate (PCA) at Mass General Hospital on a private surgical unit. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a PCA and have developed skills such as phlebotomy, hygiene, assisting with ambulaion, emptying surgical drains, keeping track of intake and output, completing vital signs and point of care testing, and communicating with patients, family, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

This upcoming semester I will complete my mental health and community rotations. I look forward to furthering my education at UNH and working towards my goal of becoming a nurse.